Summer STEM Workshop demonstrates hands-on teaching techniques

PLAINVIEW – Five area high school teachers return to the classroom this week as they participate in Wayland Baptist University’s two-day Summer STEM Workshop.

The training session, made possible by the National Science Foundation’s Noyce Grant: Growing STEM Educators through Science Research on the South Plains of Texas, is a combined effort of the Don A. Williams School of Education and the Kenneth L. Mattox School of Mathematics and Sciences. Participants gather Wednesday and Thursday, July 12-13, in Moody Science Building for the 12-hour workshop.

“The idea of the Summer STEM Workshop is to find high school math and science teachers who would like to really learn about STEM pedagogy, the content of math and science, and then really focus on the ‘how-to’ of teaching itthe STEM topics said Dr. Sarah Hartman, Dean of the Don A. Williams School of Education and Principal Investigator for the Noyce program.

The grant pays for the cost of each participant and provides a $500 stipend for each educator. Teachers get to keep lab equipment, math manipulatives or anything else used during the hands-on instruction.

“The grant provides them with the content, pedagogy, resources, and tools to take back into their classroom, which is what they will use in their own teaching of STEM,” Hartman said.

The workshop will be led by Dr. Elise Adamson from the Mattox School of Mathematics and Sciences, and Doug Warren, an education specialist with the Williams School of Education. Adamson said participating teachers come from multiple facets of high school STEM subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Quantitative Reasoning.

“We have five area teachers who will be participating in collaboration on TEKS-specific activities for use in the classroom,” Adamson said. “We will model the use of high-engagement strategies, so participants can better utilize these in their classrooms, encouraging current high school students to pursue research and STEM degrees in college, so that some will be our next generation of STEM educators.”

Admission to the workshop is highly competitive. Applications were received last Spring with final selection taking place in May.

The acronym STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” According to the National Science Teachers Association, STEM education is “an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”

Dr. Adam Reinhart, Dean of the Mattox School of Mathematics and Sciences, is Co-Principal Investigator for the Noyce program.